18 days in Japan Itinerary

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan holiday planner

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Route & dates

18 days in Japan Itinerary

Start: Brisbane
Fly:  13​h 15​min
1
Tokyo
— 2 nights
train:  3​h 15​min
2
Osaka
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  4​h 30​min
3
Yakushima-cho
— 2 nights
+3
taxi + Fly + bus + train:  7​h 15​min
4
Takachiho-cho
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h
5
Ishigaki
— 2 nights
ferry:  1​h
6
Iriomote-jima
— 2 nights
ferry:  4​h
7
Miyakojima
— 4 nights
Fly:  16​h
End: Brisbane

2
nights
Tokyo

Tokyo ©
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
On the 2nd (Wed), browse the range of quality goods at Ginza Mitsukoshi, then look for gifts at Ginza Itoya Hontren, then shop like a local with Ginza, and finally take a stroll through Odaiba. Here are some ideas for day two: wander the streets of Kichijoji, wander the streets of Shimokitazawa, take a stroll through Kagurazaka, wander the streets of Ueno, then take a stroll through Kitchen Town (Kappabashi), and finally wander the streets of Yanaka.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Tokyo trip itinerary maker tool .

Brisbane, Australia to Tokyo is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Brisbane to Tokyo is minus 1 hour. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Brisbane in December: high temperatures in Tokyo hover around 14°C and lows are around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) so you can travel to Osaka.

Things to do in Tokyo

Neighborhoods Shopping

Side Trip

Kichijoji
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Ueno ©
Ueno
Yanaka ©
Yanaka
Kitchen Town (Kappabashi) ©
Kitchen Town (Kappabashi)

3
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Do your shopping at Dotonbori and Universal City Walk Osaka. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Arima Onsen and Hankyu Umeda Main Store. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Osaka: Kiyomizu-dera Temple (in Higashiyama) and Eikando Zenrinji Temple (in Kyoto). Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Minami (Namba), get in on the family fun at Universal Studios Japan, get your game on at Sunset Owl Cafe, and make a trip to Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

For where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Osaka road trip website .

Traveling by train from Tokyo to Osaka takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. December in Osaka sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Yakushima-cho.

Things to do in Osaka

Shopping Theme Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kyoto, Arima Onsen
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Kiyomizu-dera Temple ©
Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Dotonbori ©
Dotonbori

2
nights
Yakushima-cho

Yakushima-cho ©
A popular destination for Japanese tourists, Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho is a true paradise for nature lovers, with over 1,900 species and subspecies of plants.
On the 7th (Mon), enjoy the sand and surf at Nagata Inakahama, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Isso Beach, and then admire the sheer force of Janokuchinotaki Falls. On the 8th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Yakusugi Land, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Tachudake, and then soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Yakushima-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Osaka to Yakushima-cho in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train, ferry, and taxi; or do a combination of train, bus, ferry, and taxi. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Osaka in December: high temperatures in Yakushima-cho hover around 18°C and lows are around 12°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Takachiho-cho.

Things to do in Yakushima-cho

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Yakusugi Land ©
Yakusugi Land
Nagata Inakahama
Nagata Inakahama
Isso Beach ©
Isso Beach

1
night
Takachiho-cho

Takachiho-cho ©
The mountain town of Takachiho-cho remains a place of great importance to Japan's spiritual and natural heritage, and the point where these two things intersect.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takachiho Shrine, explore the stunning scenery at Takachiho Gorge, identify plant and animal life at Tokubetsuto Rice Terraces, then stop by Michi-no-Eki Asobonosato Kugino, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Amano Iwato Shrine. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Thu): admire the verdant scenery at Fujigawachi Valley, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kushifuru Shrine, then take in the dramatic scenery at Manai Falls, and finally go for a walk through Amano Yasugawara.

To see ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Takachiho-cho trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train from Yakushima-cho to Takachiho-cho in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. Traveling from Yakushima-cho in December, things will get slightly colder in Takachiho-cho: highs are around 12°C and lows about 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Ishigaki.

Things to do in Takachiho-cho

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Michi-no-Eki Asobonosato Kugino, Fujigawachi Valley
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Takachiho Gorge ©
Takachiho Gorge
Manai Falls ©
Manai Falls
Michi-no-Eki Asobonosato Kugino ©
Michi-no-Eki Asobonosato Kugino

2
nights
Ishigaki

Ishigaki ©
Ishigaki, the most populous island in the chain, features the country's southernmost city and acts as a transport hub for exploring the landmasses that surround.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Fri): take in the awesome beauty at Nosoko Mape, then look for all kinds of wild species at Kabira Ishizaki Manta Scramble, then explore the activities along Kabira Bay, and finally look for gifts at Yurateiku Market. On the next day, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kondoi Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Yonehara Beach, then take in panoramic vistas at Tamatorizaki Observatory, and finally visit a coastal fixture at Cape Hirakubozaki.

To see reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Ishigaki journey builder .

Traveling by flight from Takachiho-cho to Ishigaki takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from Takachiho-cho in December; daily highs in Ishigaki reach 26°C and lows reach 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) to allow time to ride a ferry to Iriomote-jima.

Things to do in Ishigaki

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Kondoi Beach
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Kondoi Beach ©
Kondoi Beach
Yonehara Beach ©
Yonehara Beach
Cape Hirakubozaki ©
Cape Hirakubozaki

2
nights
Iriomote-jima

Iriomote-jima ©
Taketomicho Iriomote-Jima stands as the second largest island in Okinawa.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): take in the dramatic scenery at Kanpiree Waterfall, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Funauki Village, then take in the dramatic scenery at Mizuochi Falls, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Nara no Taki Falls. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Kura Falls, then kick back and relax at Hoshisuna Beach, and then stroll through Shirahama Port.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Iriomote-jima online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Ishigaki to Iriomote-jima by ferry takes about an hour. Expect a daytime high around 26°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) to allow time to ride a ferry to Miyakojima.

Things to do in Iriomote-jima

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Funauki Village ©
Funauki Village
Hoshisuna Beach ©
Hoshisuna Beach
Shirahama Port ©
Shirahama Port

4
nights
Miyakojima

Miyakojima ©
A city jurisdiction formed after the merger of several towns in 2005, Miyakojima spans six linked-up islands.
Take a break from the city and head to Sunayama Beach and Nagamahama Beach Coast. Head to Atarasu Ichiba and Island Marketfor plenty of shopping. And it doesn't end there: see the vivid underwater world at Yabiji, add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Yonaha Maehama Beach, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Tomori Imugya Beach.

For more things to do and other tourist information, go to the Miyakojima road trip site .

Getting from Iriomote-jima to Miyakojima by ferry takes about 4 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Miyakojima can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Miyakojima

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Nagamahama Beach Coast ©
Nagamahama Beach Coast
Sunayama Beach ©
Sunayama Beach
Yabiji
Yabiji

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